Court sentences DEC officer to death for murdering suspect

A 45-YEAR-OLD Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) investigations officer of Kasama has been sentenced to death by the Kasama High Court for murdering a suspected drug trafficker.
Ndola High Court judge Charles Chanda, sitting in Kasama recently, imposed the death penalty on Ohinga Lumamba of plot number 003, Mulenga Hills in Kasama.
Lumamba, on July 8 last year in Kasama, murdered Geoffrey Mumba.
He denied the charge.
Delivering judgment, Mr Justice Chanda said the prosecution had proved its case of murder against Lumamba beyond reasonable doubt.
“I, therefore, on the totality of the evidence before me, entertain no doubt in my mind that the prosecution has discharged its legal burden to the hilt and this case has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
“The evidence against the accused is overwhelming and I,  therefore,  find him guilty of murder and I accordingly convict him,” Mr Justice Chanda said.
He said he did not find any extenuating circumstances in the case and that he had no option but to impose the mandatory sentence for murder on Lumamba.
“I hereby sentence you to death. You shall be hanged by the neck until you are pronounced dead. May God have mercy on your soul,” Mr Justice Chanda said.
He granted Lumamba leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.
In mitigation through his lawyer Japhet Zulu, Lumamba asked the court to exercise leniency on him because he is remorseful for his actions and that he is the breadwinner of his family.
Evidence before court was that on the fateful day, Lumamba in the company of other DEC officers went to Mumba’s house to conduct a search after receiving information that he was dealing in marijuana.
The court heard that the exercise was conducted around 04:00 hours but when they knocked on the door and introduced themselves, Mumba refused to open the door and told the DEC officers that there was nothing of interest for them to look for.
The court heard that the other DEC officers kept a distance but Lumamba entered Mumba’s house and a struggle between the two ensued.
The court heard that Lumamba shot Mumba in the chest because he allegedly threatened to axe him.
Lumamba’s colleagues rushed into the house after the gunshot and found Mumba lying in a pool of blood.
Mumba sustained a wound on the left side of the chest.
The matter was reported to Kasama Police Station by DEC officers.
Lumamba gave sworn evidence but called no witnesses.
He denied murdering Mumba with malice aforethought because the firearm discharged accidentally.
Mumba’s mother, Bernadette Mumba, testified that her son was once convicted of a marijuana-related offence but that he had reformed after his release from prison.

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